3 Takeaways from Our Review of All 185 Tennessee Teen Lifers

Anita Wadhwani, Adam Tamburin and Duane W. Gang, Tennessean •

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings in recent years that found mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional except in rare circumstances. 

Since 2014, at least 24 states have either eliminated life without parole for juvenile offenders or imposed automatic reviews of life sentences imposed on teens after they have served a certain amount of years — ranging from 15 years to 40 years.

Pennsylvania is one of several states to create a mechanism to review the sentences of every inmate serving life in prison for crimes committed as minors.

Of the 535 men and women whose sentences were reviewed, 250 were resentenced and 150 released, according to Marsha Levick, chief legal officer with the Juvenile Law Center.

About the Expert

Marsha Levick co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law.